Immigrant Physicians:Healthcare Perceptions and Experiences of American Physicians Following Aliyah to Israel

Approximately 180 physicians made aliyah from the US, Canada and England from 2002-2010, the majority of them (approximately 90%), American. In 2011, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute carried out a qualitative survey of American physicians who had immigrated during that period, to learn about their experiences of the aliyah process and of working as physicians in both the Israeli and American healthcare systems. The study was carried out in cooperation with Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) – a nonprofit organization that encourages and facilitates aliyah.

Having worked in both countries, the physicians surveyed were in a unique position to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli and American healthcare systems. Their insights, which are presented in this report, could serve as input into efforts to improve both systems.

The survey participants were also a first-hand source of information about the challenges faced by immigrant physicians in the immigration process and the extent to which, or manner in which, they succeeded in navigating that process. The information gleaned from the interviews has been used by NBN to improve its efforts to encourage immigration and facilitate the successful integration of the immigrants. The information is also being shared with prospective and new physician immigrants to help them understand, prepare for, and navigate the process.